Gravity, an exciting thriller set in outer space, stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts trying to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. It’s directed by Alfonso Cuarὁn, who also helmed such outstanding films as Children of Men and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This unique movie contains breathtaking visuals. But I expected no less, because Cuarὁn worked on the film for four years with the great cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, the man who captured those amazing artistic sights for Tree of Life and To the Wonder.
These two filmmakers managed to create an amazing new way of shooting a film, which pays off handsomely here. While watching Gravity, we feel like we’re actually floating in space or suffering through the mishaps that befall the characters played by Bullock and Clooney. The cliché “edge of your seat” seems too mild for this thrilling space adventure that combines technical magic with strong emotional pull.
Clooney portrays the wisecracking Matt Kowalsky, a veteran astronaut who loves being up in space and telling stories to entertain others. Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer on her first mission. Ryan can’t help being nervous, and adding to her emotional state, she’s still mourning the loss of a child. Although Clooney does a fine job in a role that’s perfect for him, it’s Bullock who wins our heart. Because of Bullock’s exceptional likeability quotient and the intensity of her performance, we have no trouble empathizing with Ryan. We soon become deeply involved in sequences showing the terrifying crisis situations she faces. In fact, Gravity becomes a kind of Perils-of-Pauline-in-Space story -- but one that feels almost too real. No wonder Bullock has zoomed to the top of so many Oscar wish lists.
Seeing this film in 3D would probably be best. However, if you’re like me and have trouble adjusting to that process or suffer from migraine headaches, by all means see the digital version. It’s still a memorable viewing experience. Kudos to everyone involved with this special movie!
(Released by Warner Bros. Pictures and rated “PG-13” for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language.)
For more information about Gravity, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.